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John Paul
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Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima
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submitted by NAVETSUSA Plankowner, John L. Paul



John Paul's Tribute To My Shipmates 

This page is dedicated to all my Shipmates, especially Bob Korczoski who devoted a lot of time, effort and money to reunite the Crew Members of L.C.T. 1269 after 50 years, when we participated in the Invasion of Iwo Jima.

***************February 19,1945**************** 

Frank T. Eddy (Skipper)---------------------Robert Korczoski Robert Betzold------------------------------Donald Kinney Glenn Skeen---------------------------------Joseph Lisak John L. Paul*-------------------------------Richard Vaughn Robert L. Pieffer---------------------------Carl Peterson Ramon Padilla-------------------------------George Gartleman Walter Horaney------------------------------James Farmer A.L.Baughman--------------------------------B.J. Macklin 

1269 Crew

Remember Iwo Jima********And********U.S.S.L.C.T. 1269 

The tiny island of Iwo Jima is just under five miles long and two and a half miles wide at its widest point and has been described by many as a "pork chop" when viewed from the air. Located slightly south and west of the midpoint between Tokyo and Saipan, Iwo Jima is 625 miles north of Saipan and 660 miles south of Tokyo. The name of the island, Iwo Jima, translates to Sulfur Island for the numerous ground vents that spew sulfur fumes from underground sulfur springs. The island is mostly barren, with a 556-foot extinct volcano on the southern tip of the island (Mt. Suribachi), black sands, rocky cliffs, and no source of drinkable water. 

Situated between the Marianas Islands and Okinawa, the small island of Iwo Jima was another key link in the Allies' island-hopping strategy. Knowing this, the Japanese had fortified the island with a network of underground tunnels and bunkers. The battle for Iwo Jima was one of the bloodiest in U.S. Marine history, as the Japanese contested every foot of the island, often emerging from caves into territory thought secure. It was the largest armada invasion of the Pacific War. Although the famous flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi took place in mid-February, it was another month before the island was completely secured. 

The amphibious assault on Iwo Jima was considered to be the "ultimate storm landing," with a striking force of 74,0000 Marines. The US sent more Marines to Iwo than to any other battle, 110,000 Soldiers in 880 Ships. The convoy of 880 US Ships sailed from Hawaii to Iwo in 40 days. Although planners estimated the attack on Iwo should have been over within a week or less, they hadn't planned on the stubborn, savvy fighting of the estimated 21,000 Japanese troops on the island, who were experienced in island warfare after their many campaigns in the Pacific. Caves throughout the island were utilized by the Japanese military for a hospital, headquarters for the various Japanese officers on island, and even a sauna. Mt. Suribachi housed a seven-story interior structure used by the Japanese for stockpiling weapons, ammo, radios, fuel, and rations. 

The US Air Force pounded Iwo in the longest sustained aerial offensive of the war. "No other island received as much preliminary pounding as did Iwo Jima."(Admiral Nimitz, CINPAC) Incredibly, this ferocious bombardment had little affect. Hardly any of the Japanese underground fortresses were touched. 

A U.S. military commander rallied his troops to battle on Iwo with these words: "Every man will resist until the end, making his position his tomb. Every man will do his best to kill ten enemy soldiers." Over 6,000 U.S. Marines, sailors and soldiers died, over 18,000 were wounded and over 500 were presumed dead or MIA. Twenty-six U.S. Marines and Navy corpsmen received Iwo Jima Medal of Honor Citations for their gallant bravery in combat on Iwo Jima.

What started as a quick, violent attack on February 19, 1945, turned into 36 days of some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting the Marines had encountered. The U.S. Marine 4th and 5th Divisions led the invasion, with the 3rd Division in reserve. The first day saw 2,400 American casualties but, during the battle U.S. Marines, sailors and soldiers killed an estimated 20,000 Japanese and captured over 1,000 prisoners. On March 25, the Battle of Iwo Jima was finally over, with the U.S. the victor.

With control of Iwo Jima and its airfield, the Americans could launch smaller fighter planes to serve as escorts and defenders for the B-29s which made bombing runs to mainland Japan.
1269 at Iwo Jima
The Iwo Jima Memorial Among the Americans who served on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue. --Admiral Nimitz"
Iwo Jima Maps

Left to Right: John Paul, Mr. Pratt, Librian, Mr Hemingway who was the Mayor of Bloomsburg for about 20 Years and is now a trustee at the Library. Mr Hemingway was also the Administer of the island of Iwo Jima for one year after we secured it. 




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